Wind energy company to meet with Coleraine Borough Council

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Local wind energy company Simple Power is set to meet with members of Coleraine Borough Council on Tuesday evening to outline the importance of medium scale wind energy, in the form of the single wind turbines it develops and to enlist the support of councillors in helping Northern Ireland reach future renewable energy targets.

The wind energy company, which was founded in Belfast in 2010, will present its medium wind strategy to the Council, which involves working in partnership with landowners to develop single 250kW wind turbines that connect to the Northern Ireland grid. Single wind turbine projects are relatively quick to develop, in comparison to traditional wind farms and benefit the rural economy by enabling farmers and landowners to participate in renewable generation.

Paul Carson, CEO of Simple Power, said: “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to present to Coleraine Borough Council on Tuesday evening and to meet with councillors who I understand are very interested in hearing about the role of wind energy in providing clean, safe and affordable energy for future generations.”

Mr Carson will outline the importance of Council support in terms of the planning process: “We have a very supportive and in fact a “promotive” planning policy around Renewable Energy in Northern Ireland.

“But local planning support is vital if Northern Ireland is going to reach its target of achieving 40% renewable electricity generation by 2020. We hope our presentation will help the Council understand the need for positive local implementation of this policy which is driven by Environment Minister Alex Attwood alongside Energy Minister Arlene Foster.”

“The siting of a wind turbine is constrained by many different environmental and technical issues but primarily, a wind turbine should be erected on the most efficient site for wind resource. We carefully appraise each site taking into account the visual impact amongst other aspects but importantly, the economic and environmental must be given significant weight by planners when considering applications.”

“Even for the relatively straight-forward single, medium scale wind turbines which we develop, we find the planning process can sometimes be difficult.

WAction and speed is critical to meet our renewable targets, reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels, to insulate our energy bills from the rising costs of fuel and to meet the electricity needs of our homes and businesses in the future.”

Simple Power’s chairman is Harry McCracken who was previously Managing Director of Northern Ireland Electricity and Viridian. CEO Paul Carson is Chair of the Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG) Small and Medium Wind Energy Group and Member of RenewableUK. He also sits on the Renewables Planning Advisory Group to the Environment Minister.

Earlier this year, Simple Power announced a partnership with leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vergnet, to install its mid-range Vergnet GEV-MP R 250kW wind turbines which are noted for their superior quality two-blade design providing maximum regeneration capacity and reliability.